An Education in Saving on
Every year students flock to the college bookstore to
purchase the various textbooks that they require for their classes. Little
do these students realize that, in doing so, they are throwing good money
away. As unbelievable as it may seem textbooks, in some cases, actually
cost as much, if not more, than tuition.
On the surface the college bookstore may seem like a
convenient source for textbooks. Titles are usually in-stock and students
may purchase new textbooks or opt for the cheaper alternative of used
books. In truth the money saved by purchasing used textbooks from the
college bookstore is only a fraction of the amount that students could be
saving if they shopped online.
More and more online booksellers have begun selling
textbooks at a considerable discount off of the cover price. In fact, many
major booksellers now have special areas of their web sites that are
devoted to selling nothing but textbooks. Online used bookstores are
another source for college books as they stock a large number of
textbooks, which means sizable savings for students. There are also
web-based retailers whose inventory is entirely devoted to college books.
Students should avoid purchasing their textbooks at the
first store that they browse. Instead, they should investigate the
alternatives offered by other online booksellers. Price isn't the only
factor to consider when making an online purchase. Students should also
factor in shipping costs and delivery time when making their buying
Online auctions are another option for students seeking a
bargain. This option, however, has its pros and cons. A plus is that
students can get incredible bargains when obtaining books via online
auctions. One downside is that established retailers have channels in
place to ensure that you receive your order within a reasonable amount of
time. With an auction purchase, however, you are at the mercy of the
auction seller's timetable.
One way that students can really save is by obtaining
books for free. Project Gutenberg is one resource that English majors will
find invaluable. At this site students can peruse a vast collection of
classics that have entered the public domain. In the past students seeking
assistance with their studies had to pay for the privilege of that help by
purchasing study guides. Today that is no longer the case. Cash-strapped
students can now visit Spark Notes for free downloadable study guides as
well as free downloadable classics.
Students who elect to buy online will no longer be able to
resell their books to the college bookstore at the end of class, but that
doesn't mean that they are stuck with the textbooks. Many web sites that
sell textbooks also offer students the option of selling their books to
fellow bargain-seekers. This allows students to easily recouping a portion
of their money.
Textbooks normally consume a major portion of a student's
budget, but that doesn't have to be the case, because while the cost of
tuition may be set in stone the price of textbooks isn't. By taking the
time to do a little research on the best textbook values available college
students can save money now rather than acquiring debt to be paid back
Copyright © 2004 Heather Wallace
Heather Wallace is founder of
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